Sam Phillips

Martinis & Bikinis

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With Martinis and Bikinis, Sam Phillips' music turns decidedly Beatlesque: edgier and more psychedelic than her previous work, songs like "Strawberry Road" and "Same Rain" springboard from John Lennon-inspired origins, while "Same Changes" brazenly borrows from "If I Needed Someone" -- Van Dyke Parks' string arrangement for the stunning "Baby, I Can't Please You" even recalls "Tomorrow Never Knows." (To punctuate matters, the album closes with a cover of Lennon's "Gimme Some Truth.") The difference between Phillips and the vast majority of her pop-revisionist contemporaries, however, is that she never coasts on the fumes of her influences, but turns them on their head and gives them new life -- regardless of the approach, her impassioned, spiritually charged songs remain the product of a singular vision.

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